Author Topic: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?  (Read 229 times)

Offline Brentor boy

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,324
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« on: Friday 10 July 20 09:43 BST (UK) »
James Cowling was born  in Washington, D C, in June 1833.
Between March 1863-March 1868 he served in 4th U S cavalry.

In 1880 he was living with his wife, "Emma", age 26, and daughter Jessie, age 11, both born Georgia, in Bethesda, Montgomery, Maryland.

In his will, dated 1896, he left all his personal property to his wife, Mary Emma, unconditionally. His real estate he bequeathed to her "for her natural lifetime" after which it was to be divided amongst his nieces and nephews.

At the time of the 1900 census he and Mary were living  in Lee district, Fairfax. Mary's birth was shown as August 1849 Georgia. They had been married 25 years and Mary had had one child who was still living.

By 1910 they were living Burke Precinct, Lee, Fairfax. Married for 37 years, the child was still alive.
After James's death in 1913 Mary contested the will with the nieces and nephews in an attempt to gain full title of the 67 acres of land James had left.

I have not been able to find a record af the marriage of James and Mary but the evidence of the census indicates the it was after the birth of Jessie. I have not found any other reference to Jessie (she was not the bride of Edwin Mitchell).
The wording of the will suggests that Jessie was not James's child and he wanted his property to remain in the possession of his family. Mary then took legal action so that she could leave it to her daughter. "Find a Grave" has Mary's date of birth as 12 August 1848. She is identified as the wife of James but there is no mention of Jessie.

I would appreciate any help in (a) tracing the record of the marriage of James and Mary (b) finding  Jessie's birth details and (c) what subsequently happened to Jessie.

Offline oldohiohome

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,643
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 10 July 20 14:33 BST (UK) »
I looked on the 1870 Census of Georgia for "Jessie" born in Georgia, born about 1869, with a mother Mary Emma. Here are a few to rule out:

Jessie is not Jessie Green in Ganeyville, Charlton County, GA. She is with her parents in 1880 and 1900
not Jessie R Juhan in Carroll County, GA. She is with her parents in 1880, died 1888
not Jessie T Reese, in Marshallville, Macon County, GA. She is with her parents in Georgia in 1880

But Jessie and Mary Emma might have been in D.C. by 1870. Maybe she was run out of town with an illegitimate child. I didn't look in D.C. in 1870.

[If anyone else goes looking, Jessie was "white" on the 1880 census. It will help a bit in sifting through the results.]

-----
James and Emma Mary aren't this couple:
A different James Cowling married Mary Skinner 22 Feb 1853 in District of Columbia. She died 5 Dec 1924 and James died 17 May 1886, both are buried in Alexandria, VA

---------
This tree says Mary Emma's maiden name was Denix. But that was James' mother's name according to his death record, according to the informant "Mrs Cowling" (but it looks like it was filled in by the undertaker really.) I'd bet on the death record being correct, rather than the unsourced tree, but I'm not as sure of it as I would be if the information was in "Mrs Cowling"'s own hand. And which Mrs Cowling? her address was "Burke", which might mean something to you. James died in Lee, Fairfax County VA.

here is the tree anyway:
https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/G3CJ-449

---
And I didn't find any matches on Jessie or Mary Denix/Dennicks born in Georgia.

Offline Brentor boy

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,324
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 10 July 20 18:02 BST (UK) »
Thanks, O O H, for your thoughtful response. I am sorry that I did not mention in my original post that I had eliminated the James Cowling/Mary Skinner marriage.

James and Mary were living  in Burke Presinct, Lee (township?) In 1910.

Thank you for the link to that family tree. Most of the other details appear correct, and I will see if I can find the source of Mary's claimed identity. I have had a quick look for Mary Emma or Jessie Den* but nothing of interest has surfaced.

Still more work to do.


Offline oldohiohome

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,643
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 10 July 20 21:49 BST (UK) »
Thanks, O O H, for your thoughtful response. I am sorry that I did not mention in my original post that I had eliminated the James Cowling/Mary Skinner marriage.

Not a problem, I only posted it because I found it and it would save the next person from thinking about it.
--------------
findgrave says Mary E Cowling died 6 March 1917 and is buried in Virginia. I wonder if there was a death notice or obituary that might mention her daughter's name? But if his family wrote the obit, it might not mention Jessie ... ?

Edited to add:
She might not have died in Virginia, though, or her death record should be on ancestry. (James' in 1913 was there.) Which might mean she was with her daughter, so maybe the daughter provided any info for the obit.

Do you know where she was living when she contested James' will? Do the records say?

Offline amondg

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,154
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 11 July 20 05:45 BST (UK) »
Have you looked at Jessie O Weeks nee Ellis on the 1900 and 1910 census, born Georgia 1869 father born Alabama, mother born Georgia, living in Fairfax County.
Her death certificate 16 February 1914 says her father was James H Ellis born Alabama and mother Mary E Moncrell/Moncree born Georgia. Her birth date given as 27 April 1869. Buried in Lee Cemetery Fairfax County VA.

She married John William Weeks 17 June 1886 as Jessie O Ellis.
Keeping in mind that the census recorded her as a Cowling even though she may not have been.
Only the index is on ancestry it would be interesting to see who signed as witnesses.

ADDED
Perhaps a local newspaper has her death notice.


Offline Brentor boy

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,324
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 11 July 20 06:07 BST (UK) »
Thanks, Amondg. An excellent find.
I have just looked on Billion Graves. The graves of James Cowling and Mary E Cowling are listed as close by.
Not conclusive but enough to direct and energise my search with renewed optimism. Even if I cannot find any additional substantiating evidence, it is sufficient to rate it as " highly probable"

Offline Brentor boy

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,324
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 11 July 20 07:05 BST (UK) »
In 1870 Jessie Ellis, age 1 (Male!), in household including  Mary Moncrief,  age 20. Living Effingham, Georgia. (Formerly Meriwether)
In 1850, Mary E Moncrief age 10/12 at time of census ( 7 June 1850). Born circa August 1849.  Living Meriwether, Georgia.

Jessie had son, Edgar Mitchell Weeks , born 16 May 1892 .  As Jessie was probably dead by the time Mary started her legal action in 1914, challenging James's will, she had  a grandson  whose interests she would have wanted to protect.

Once again, Amondg, many thanks to finding the key to unlock this.

Offline oldohiohome

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,643
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 11 July 20 18:03 BST (UK) »
Mary Moncrief as Emma in 1860, with her father's family, but without Jessie:

edit: duh, obviously without Jessie, she wasn't born until 1869 :)

1860 in Hogansville, Troup Co, GA

Moncrief,
Wm A, 43
A T, 38
V, female, 20
Wm, 16
M, female 15
O, female 13
Emma, 12
John 8
M, male, 3
Alex, male, 0

R C White, "male", 47

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZMG-92B

Rachel White was with the family in 1870 also

a familysearch tree for the family:
https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/KZM5-XMC

--------------
Edgar Week's second marriage, 10 Aug 1932, Genesee NY.
his residence: Lynchburg, VA, hers: Chicago
 says they intend to live in Chicago after the marriage
image available

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKN1-ZFT3 

Edgar's death
findagrave says it was "30 Oct 1932"
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/99645741

his 2nd wife Bertha is said to have died in 1933

Offline Brentor boy

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,324
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Cowling (1833-1913) Who was Jessie?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 12 July 20 06:52 BST (UK) »
Thanks, again ,  O O H. Your efforts are appreciated. Discovering Jessie's identity has certainly opened up a whole new area of research.